Perhaps because even small children are able to ride bicycles, bicycles may be seen by many adults as mere toys, and not taken seriously as real "vehicles," even though they are ridden on the same roads as motorized vehicles. This is a dangerous opinion, since the average age of people killed in cycle accidents has continued to rise, and is now about 44.
Alcohol involvement—either for the motor vehicle operator or for the cyclist—was reported in more than 34 percent of all fatal cyclist crashes in 2013, and the fatality rate for males is almost 7 times greater than for females.
The lesson to be learned from these statistics is to take bicycles seriously. Bicycles are serious vehicles. Follow the rules of safe riding:
- 2) Obey the laws pertaining to all vehicles. A bicycle is as much a vehicle as a car.
- 3) Ride with the flow of traffic, not against it.
- 4) Wear bright clothing, and ride with others if you can.
- 5) Make as much space as you can to give drivers chance to see you at all times.
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According to statistics compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2013 there were 743 cyclists killed, and an estimated 48,000 injured in motor vehicle traffic crashes, accounting for about 2 percent of the people injured in traffic crashes during the year. Fatalities were highest in California, with 141, which was about 4.7% of total traffic fatalities.
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